Pasta, leavened and unleavened bread, meat, soy milk, tofu, ethanol, may appear to have nothing in common but all of these products can be produced from four main commodities, wheat, corn, sorghum and soybeans. This summer I served as the communications intern for the IGP Institute. The IGP Institute is an entity of the Kansas State University Department of Grain Science and Industry. At the Institute they educate professionals in the industry about grains and their different processes to help those professionals run their facilities more efficiently. Through this opportunity I was able to learn about the grain industry and the impact that U.S. grains has world-wide. I was able to work closely with the communications team Lisa Moser, marketing and communications coordinator, who served as my supervisor, Pat Hackenberg, educational media coordinator and Kelly Boswell program services coordinator. The IGP Institute is located in Manhattan, Kansas. This allowed me to have extra learning time, because I started the Monday after finals and had my last day the Friday before school started.
I found out about this internship through a friend who had the internship the previous summer and enjoyed it so much. I knew I had to apply for the opportunity. I applied for the internship simply by emailing Lisa Moser asking if the opportunity was available, after that the application process was quite simple.
Each day of my internship gave me the opportunity to learn more. My tasks day-to-day differed, but I had the same tasks each time a course was taking place. Every time a course took place, it meant that I was in charge of capturing the photography and videography for the course, writing a news release, creating a video recap of what happened during the course and interviewing a few participants on camera. This involved planning out my entire week, the Friday or Monday of to ensure I took pictures and videos at the most optimal times, along with coordinating with the course instructor times for interviews and who to interview. I also scheduled a time with the course instructor to record their portion of the video recap for the course.
One of my biggest projects over the summer was redesigning the Department of Grain Science and Industry website. I felt a huge honor in being the one to come up with the plan for redesigning it and when it was approved by the Department Head it felt awesome. I was not interested in web design before entering this internship, and now I am. I have been exposed to web design and have lots of hands-on experience that I can take with me throughout my career.
During my internship I knew there were opportunities to work on video projects and I let my supervisor know I was interested in those. She assigned more projects to me where I worked in videography which was beneficial to my interest and has made me want to continue to pursue those interests.
If there was one thing I learned this summer more than anything was I learned how to learn. In the communications world everything is always changing from social media platform algorithms to updates on Adobe software to working on a new type of computer there will always be changes that are challenging. I learned how to overcome those changes by learning from others and the internet. If you are ready to learn and want to experience what a ‘real’ job is like apply! In this position I never felt like just the intern, I was doing projects that needed to be done for the organization and was making a difference.